In a fascinating top-of-the-table matchup on Wednesday, Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal will face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium as the apprentice welcomes his former master for a Premier League title clash.
The Gunners are attempting to avoid going three league games without a victory, while the Citizens, should they earn all three points in the capital, have a chance to pass the North Londoners for first place.
While still very much within reach, Arsenal’s chances of winning their first Premier League championship in almost 20 years have taken a slight dip lately after a narrow loss to Everton by a score of 1-0 and a draw against Brentford by a score of 1-1 at home on Saturday.
After coming off the bench just after the hour mark, Leandro Trossard scored his first goal for the Gunners in just four minutes, but Arteta’s team suffered from a significant error’ from VAR that failed to spot Ethan Pinnock or Christian Norgaard in offside positions; the latter ultimately set up Ivan Toney for a 74th-minute equaliser.
On Wednesday, the defending champions will test Arsenal’s home winning streak. Since November, Arsenal has held the top spot in the Premier League. Still, their eight-point advantage has been reduced to only three after dropping points in three of their last five games.
A statement win on Wednesday would give Arteta’s team a major boost going into a favourable run of seven consecutive matches against none of the so-called top six clubs.
But defeat to Guardiola and co. it would not be a complete disaster for Arsenal, and their title hopes, with 16 league matches still to follow, including a game in hand against their rivals.
Arsenal PL Form: W D W W L D
Arsenal Form (All Competitions): W W W L L D
Manchester City are chasing Arsenal down ? pic.twitter.com/xchUo1uIKH
— GOAL (@goal) February 12, 2023
Man City replied in defiant form with a 3-1 victory against Aston Villa in front of an angry Etihad crowd on Sunday after being accused of breaking more than 100 financial regulations by the Premier League and facing the threat of unprecedented sanctions, including points reductions or expulsion.
Guardiola will have been pleased to see his team recover from their painful 1-0 loss at Tottenham Hotspur the week prior. While the off-field legal battle is to come, City’s next challenge is at the Emirates against an Arsenal team seeking to snatch their top-flight title.
Guardiola now has the most Premier League wins (184) as a manager after 250 games.
The team has only won six of its 14 away games across all competitions this season. They enter their match at the Emirates after losing their most recent two away games in the Premier League against rivals Manchester United and Spurs.
Man City PL Form: W L W W L W
Man City Form (All Competitions): L W W W L W
Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal has progressed in his knee injury recovery. However, the former Manchester City forward will still be out for a few weeks. Meanwhile, Mohamed Elneny, who had knee surgery last month, is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe have been limited by injuries this season. Although both have participated in the training, Arteta has said that none is “yet ready to contribute” to the first team.
John Stones is still out for the remainder of this month due to a hamstring injury. Erling Braut Haaland, the Premier League’s leading scorer, has been listed as questionable after leaving the game against Villa at halftime due to a “huge knock.”
Arsenal’s possible starting lineup:
Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah
Manchester City’s possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Lewis, Dias, Laporte, Ake; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
Who are you taking on current form? ?#ARSMCI pic.twitter.com/nWujGAthBc
— Premier League (@premierleague) February 14, 2023
Head to Head
In 206 games played between the two teams, Arsenal has a great record versus Manchester City, winning 98 games to 63 for the Citizens.
Arsenal’s losing streak against Manchester City in the Premier League is the longest ever against a single opponent. They have lost their last ten games against them.
In their last six away Premier League games against Arsenal, Manchester City has won six times, matching their total from the 61 before meetings.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Wednesday, February 15
Time: 07:30 pm, London Time
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London
There is still a long way to go in the title race. Still, an Arsenal victory over the reigning champions would put Arteta’s team in a strong position, given that they could go nine points ahead of the competition should they win their games in hand.
Both sides will consider Wednesday’s match a game they must win, especially Man City. As a result, an intense battle is anticipated in the Emirates, where points may be shared this time.